OK all German stuff this week!This was the third Kosmische Kuriere / Cosmic Jokers large scale project, predated by Ash Ra Temple's "Seven Up" (August 1972) and Sergius Golowin's "Lord Krishna von Goloka" (Autumn 1972). The big attraction here is undoubtedly Manuel Gottsching (from Ash Ra Temple) with his brilliant guitar playing. Klaus Schulze (electronics) was another great asset, adding his impressive and characterstic "cosmic" electronic sounds. Klaus Schulze even read his own poem on "Der Weise". Hartmut Enke (also from Ash Ra Temple) for once passed the bass over to Jerry Berkers (ex-Wallenstein) and instead enjoyed guitar battles with Gottsching. Bernd Witthuser (of Witthuser & Westrupp) played acoustic guitar. The conventional keyboards, mainly piano, were played by Jurgen Dollase from Wallenstein. Berkers and Harald Grosskopf (drums, percussion) had just left this group.
Walter Wegmüller - Tarot (1973)
Water Wegmuller wrote the lyrics and sang (well, he spoke!) on most of the tracks. Dieter Dierks and Rosi Muller were also credited - as guests. The music is stunning and varied - cosmic mayhem recalling Ash Ra Tempel's "Seven Up", electronic sound paintings a la Klaus Schulze, heavy guitar-based acid blues numbers, folky songs with acoustic guitar, mellotron and organ excursions. Actually the compositions on Tarot are more "together" than on the two preceding Kosmische Kuriere projects and easily the best! On sides 1 to 3 the tracks are more or less clearly separated, on side 4 they formed a continuous suite. Tarot was recorded in December 1972 in the Dierks studio, Stommeln. The next Kosmische Kuriere projects would be the three albums by Cosmic Jokers, compiled from jam session, recorded between February and May 1973, and two strange samplers: Gilles Zeitschiff and Sci Fi Party. (Cosmic Dreams At Play)
Part 1 Part 2
Oops! Track 22, "Die Welt" is bad. Replace with This
Cosmic Jokers - Gilles Zeitschiff (1974)Definitely not the best Cosmic Jokers release, but 'Gilles Zeitschiff' (Gille's Spaceship) [timeship?] is perhaps the freakiest artifact to come out of the Cosmic Jokers' short existence. A pastiche concept 'sampler', the album contains heavily overdubbed excerpts from the Kosmische Kuriere projects: 'Seven Up', 'Lord Krishna Von Goloka', and 'Tarot'. The material is spiced up by additional material recorded by Klaus Schulze and Gille Lettman. Schulze's signature cosmic synthesizer sound is used to full effect while Gille can be heard delivering an acid drenched narration in German and English. The narration details the power of 'Mr. Energy', Timothy Leary, and how he became involved with the Kosmische Kuriere group. In case you weren't aware, Gille makes it known that Timothy is a love god and that "T. L. stands for true love". Obviously the effect which Mr. Leary had on Gille was out of this world. Plain and simple, 'Gilles Zeitschiff' is krautrock in its purest form and the album should make its way into your collection at some point. This one is best listened to with head phones! (krautrockgroup.com)
Herbert F. Bairy - Traumspiel (1979)Thanks to 'dtfloyd' from France who sent me this one, which I had never heard of. It's a real eccentric album from 1979 by percussionist Bairy, who appears here with a large ensemble that includes a second drummer/percussionist, synthesizers, Indian/eastern instruments, cello, clarinet, electric guitars and bass, trumpets, church organ, soprano sax and wordless male and femal voices. Pretty wild and spacious, this is not a free-form blow out, but something that pretty much resembles the title of the work translated into English: "dream game". Two long tracks and two short tracks. Unusual and interesting!!
Ardo Dombec - Ardo Dombec (1971)Not much is known about ARDO DOMBEC except that they were an early 70's German prog band who released an album with a heavy, bluesy, and slightly jazzy feel, ending up barely sounding German at all. Often compared to COLOSSEUM, their music features a lot of saxophone, often matched by electric guitar and flute. Their arrangements are upbeat and bright, yet the lyrics are rather dark and cynical in contrast. The band consisted of Helmut Hachmann on sax and flute, Harald Gleu on guitar and vocals, Wolfgang Spillner on drums and vocals, and Michael Ufer on bass.
Their only cd, entitled simply "Ardo Dombec" (1971), collects just about everything the band has ever recorded. At times, their jazzy material flirts with pop and at other times, it sounds downright baroque. The band obviously enjoys strange and complex rhythms, SOFT MACHINE style. Although they seem to favour vocal tracks (which aren't exactly their forte), it is in the instrumental sections that they truly shine. Technically speaking, the musicianship is fairly good but the compositions may lack a little inspiration and excitement.
Not an essential album, but definitely worth a listen, if only for Hachmann's heavy sax grooves. (progarchives.com)
Shaa Khan - The World Will End On Friday (1977)Like many young bands, Shaa Khan were formed as a student group playing the music of their heroes, and in 1970 their staple repertoire was built on a diet of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin numbers. Via a trek into jazz-rock, and then after supporting the likes of Earth & Fire, UFO and Nektar, the 1976 incarnation had gained a complex and lyrical progressive rock style comparable to Grobschnitt, Gentle Giant and Druid. With dual lead vocalists and inventive instrumental work, their debut "The World Will End On Friday" was a fine example of the genre, and a surprisingly fresh album stepping on from Grobschnitt's "Jumbo". (Crack In The Cosmic Egg)
Wallenstein - Blitzkrieg (1971)Wallenstein were one of Germany's best known "space rock" bands, clearly indebted to Pink Floyd but also developing a personal style of their own. Jürgen Dollase founded the group "Blitzkrieg" as an international group with Bill Barone (from the USA), Jerry Berkers (from the Netherlands) and Harald Grosskopf (from Germany!). Dollase had previously studied art and classical music. In late Autumn 1971 Blitzkrieg had the repertoire ready for an album, but as a British group already was using the name "Blitzkrieg", the German group changed their name to Wallenstein and kept Blitzkrieg as the title of their first album. This featured four very long tracks in a symphonic progressive rock style (all written by Dollase) and almost completely instrumental. Dense, complex and powerful stuff! (Cosmic Dreams At Play)
Blitzkrieg in .flac format: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Walpurgis "Queen Of Saba" (1972)'Queen of Saba' is a strange bird. Part folk, part rock, part 'space rock', the album has its share of good and dull moments. Walpurgis features Jürgen Dollase of Wallenstein on keyboards and piano. The first track, the aptly titled, 'Disappointment', sounds like a not-so-pompous version of Wallenstein. The second track, 'Hey You Over There', picks up a bit, but still their guitar-based sound is dominated by a Hendrix-esque Anglo-American feel. The title track, 'Queen Of Saba', has a unique dark sound that reminds me of what early Pere Ubu sounded like. This track also has a nice musical bridge which has a feel similar to A Saucerful Of Secrets. The rest of the album is dominated by a standard 'space rock' sound encompassing acoustic rythm guitar, electric lead guitar, conga percussion and drums. Musically, it is these three tracks which carry the album. It seems to me like the guitarist from Boston must have listened to and borrowed the guitar riffs heard in 'Daily' and 'My Last Illusion'. As a whole this album is the closest thing to standard rock that the Ohr label ever released. My biggest con about the album is that the vocals, in English, are extremely weak and sound strained in many spots! They should have stuck with native German! (Doug, Krautrock Album Database)
Well there you have it - some great, some maybe not that great. But all very interesting at least, and well worth downloading! See ya!